In 2016 Ryan and Mary Russell launched Micro Empire with the purpose of educating youth, women, and victims of human trafficking how to manage their personal finances and how to start a business with little or no money.
Developing micro-businesses has been Ryan and Mary's focus for 4 years with their startup of a business entrepreneurship school. There, they trained people in business startup, funded their businesses, and mentored them. The loans were only $500 to $2,000. One of the biggest issues we faced in developing these micro-businesses is how people managed the finances of their business. Many struggled because they didn't understand their own business finances. On the other hand we saw that we were only helping people get a small start. We weren't able to help them grow larger. In an attempt to solve both the financial literacy issue for small businesses and scaling micro-business concepts we hope to create even more jobs than before and solve the frustration of so many who lack the understanding of their own finances.
Our principal goal in Micro Empire is to see people start businesses on their own without micro-finance or borrowing from a money lender at high rates. We believe that people can start something NOW with the money THEY have in their pocket. These Lean Startup principles will be taught in our programs.
Initially Micro-Empire will offer two training programs: Financial Literacy for youth/women and $5 Business Startup Training w/ incubation. Micro Empire will find the best people through these programs and invest between $5,000 to $10,000 in their startup and scale.
ME will choose the best ideas and people to invest in each year. The intention will be to have a close connection with these businesses for the first 2 years of their startup life and possibly beyond. Initial funding will be around $5,000. Each additional funding level will be evaluated. The program will run 6 times per year while the incubation program will be run 2 times per year.
Year 1 2016: 2 Investments (Ryan and Mary have purchased their first micro venture: Yangon Food Tours)
Year 2 2017: 4 Investments
Year 3 2018: 6 Investments
*We will max out at 6 investments per year
Please think about investing in this exciting new Ministry to help those less fortunate get financial freedom.